Monthly Chapter Meetings

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If you’d like to present a geology-related topic or the latest in environmental or geotechnical technology to our chapter, contact our Chair or Vice Chair to schedule a presentation date!

A Selection of Past meeting summaries:

March 2023 – Gregg Drilling’s Northern California Field Day

March 2023 – Nate Saraceno PG, AEG President “Constructability Considerations for Landslide Mitigation Projects in Appalachia”

February 2023: Joshua Goodwin, PG CEG “Understanding Geology and Geophysics Licensure Requirements in California”

December 2022: Trivia Happy Hour at Temescal Brewing Company

October 2022: Dr. Dimitrios Zekkos, PhD “Development of Regional Co-seismic Landslide Inventories and Predictive Models: The Example of the 2015 Lefkada, Greece, Earthquake” at Drake’s Dealership.

August 2022: Nik Sokol, PG CEG, “”The Golden Geology of San Francisco” field trip in San Francisco.

May 2022: Dave Simpson, PG CEG, “Challenging Geologic Investigations for the First Large New Dam in 21st Century California” at Drake’s Dealership.

May 2022: Dr. Bruce Pauly “The Wonderfully Complex Geologic History and Origin of Mt. Diablo” Field Trip.

June 2022: AEG President Maddie German “The State of AEG and A Not So Routine Hydrogeologic Study” at Zio Freddo’s.

March 2022: Dr. Edmund Medley, PE, PG, CEG, D.GE, F.ASCE, “Suggestions for Prudent Geopractice with Franciscan Bimrocks” virtual meeting.

January 2022: 2021-2022 Jahns Distinguished LecturerRichard M. Wooten, P.G. “Debris Flows, Big Slow Movers, and Rocks Slides: Assembling the Geospatial Legacy of Landslides using Lidar, Drones, and Boots on the Ground” virtual meeting.

November 2021: As it currently stands, 2020-2021 Jahns Distinguished Lecturer Cheryl Hapke, PhD is the first Jahns Distinguished Lecturer to not give an in-person presentation. We didn’t mind because her virtual talk about “When Mountains Move Roads: Science, Engineering, and Management along the Big Sur Coast” was amazing!

July 2021: The 2021 AEG National President, William Godwin, PG, CEG gave a wonderful virtual presentation on the “Perris Dam Seismic Remediation – Geologic Observations from CDSM Foundation Treatment”.

May 2021: We had a pop culture themed virtual trivia night. In the midst of the pandemic, it was nice to see some familiar faces and play some games. We would like to turn this into a geology-themed trivia night in 2022!

May 2020: Our first virtual meeting Dr. Ken Johnson, PE PG CEG, “The Geology of San Francisco”.

September 2015: Our September meeting at Zio Fraedo’s in Pleasant Hill was an inaugural dinner meeting for AEG’s Naturally Occurring Asbestos Technical Working Group and featured DTSC Schools Division Branch Chiefs Mark Malinowski and Bud Duke.

June 2015: Our June meeting at Pyramid Brewery in Berkeley featured Jahn’s Lecturer Eldon Gath who spoke about the Alquist Priolo Fault Zoning Act and suggested some improvements to bring the Act in line with modern mitigation methods.

USGS Birdsall-Dreiss Groundwater Lecturer Clifford Voss

USGS Birdsall-Dreiss Groundwater Lecturer Clifford Voss

May 2015: Our May meeting was a joint meeting with Groundwater Resources Association at Spenger’s in Berkeley and featured the USGS 2015 Birdsall-Dreiss Lecturer Clifford Voss, who spoke about Density-Driven Groundwater Flow: Seawater Intrusion, Natural Convection, and other Phenomena.

StudentNight 2015

Kaai Jensen and Omid Arabnia discuss Kaai’s poster at Student Night

April 2015: Student Night at Spice Monkey in Oakland! Student Night featured presentations by Omid Arabnia (San Francisco State University), Zhengzheng Qin (San Jose State University), and Mike George (University of California, Berkeley) and posters by Julien Cohen-Waeber (University of California, Berkeley), Robert Lanzafame (University of California, Berkeley), Nathaniel Wagner (University of California, Berkeley), Kaai Jensen (San Jose State University), and Maggie Parks (University of California, Berkeley).  All student members attended for FREE!

March 2015: We hosted a Happy Hour event at Pacific Coast Brewery! Thanks to all who attended.

February 2015: R. Jeffrey Dunn, Reid Fisher, and Christopher Hitchcock talked about the Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology Services provided following the Rim Fire near Yosemite.

January 2015: This month’s meeting featured Julien Cohen-Waeber, who spoke about the GEER Response to the South Napa Earthquake.

October 2014: AEG President Ken Fergason discussed the latest in AEG happenings, including the Governance Restructure as well as his work on the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge project, performing a Geotechnical Field Investigation using climbing and rappelling gear in 120+ degree heat.

Earl Hagström discusses the geology of hydraulic fracturing.

Earl Hagström discusses the geology of hydraulic fracturing.

August 2014: Anne Rosinski of the California Geological Survey discussed the California Earthquake Clearinghouse and how AEG members can participate.  Great timing, as our meeting occurred 2 weeks prior to the Napa Earthquake, where the Clearinghouse was activated.

July 2014: This month’s meeting featured Earl Hagström of Sedgwick, LLP who discussed “The State of Hydraulic Fracturing” at Sinbad’s.  This meeting was sponsored by Woodward Drilling.

Gretchen Schmauder talks about the seismic risk to the Tahoe Basin due to the West Tahoe Fault.

Gretchen Schmauder talks about the seismic risk to the Tahoe Basin due to the West Tahoe Fault.

June 2014: This month’s meeting featured new section member Gretchen Schmauder, PhD, of Geometrics, Inc., who was most recently the chair of the Great Basin Section! Ms. Schmauder presented “Shaking Things Up- An Updated Approach to Faulting and Seismic Hazards in the Tahoe Basin.”

May 2014: We featured AEG President Gary Luce of Resource Concepts, Inc., this month! He presented “Virginia and Truckee Railway Historic Tunnel Construction: Reconstruction of Tunnel No. 2 and Proposed Reconstruction of Tunnel No. 6”.  We additionally hosted an on-the-spot fundraiser for the AEG Foundation, where all of our donations were matched by Bob Tepel.  Including the match, we raised over $800!  Additionally, thanks to our “Sponsor a Student’s Dinner” feature on our registration page, our student members attended for free!  Thanks everyone!

April 2014: This month’s joint meeting with ASCE-SFGI at Sinbad’s featured an “Update on Geological Conditions and Construction of the Central Subway Project, San Francisco, California” by Ken Johnson, CEG, PE and Matt Fowler, PE of Parsons Brinckerhoff.  We learned how difficult it is to tunnel below the streets of San Francisco and that tunnel boring machines can have twitter handles! Follow the TBMs @BigAlmatheTBM and @MomChungtheTBM.

Antonino Cilona of Stanford University presents his paper at Student Night

Antonino Cilona of Stanford University presents his paper at Student Night

March 2014: Student Night at Restaurant Peony in Oakland!  Speakers included: Lauren Short, San Jose State University “The Role of Large Woody Debris in Inhibiting the Dispersion of a Post Fire Sediment Pulse”; Maggie Parks, UC Berkeley “Engineering Soil Properties of Old Bay Clay at Transbay Transit Center, San Francisco, California”; Matt Thomas, Stanford University “Fluid pressure responses for a Devil’s Slide-like system: problem formulation and simulation”; Antonino Cilona, Stanford University “Permeability structure of a fault zone crosscutting a sequence of sandstones and shales and its influence on hydraulic head distribution”

We also had four posters by: Katie Zheng and Lisa Gellerman, UC Berkeley “Building an Intelligent Water System – The Internet of Water”; Daniella Rempe, UC Berkeley “Subsurface Moisture Dynamics in the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory”; Josh Zupan, UC Berkeley “Seismic Performance of Buildings Subjected to Ground Failure in Dense Urban Environments”; Robert Lanzafame, UC Berkeley “Contribution of Vegetation and Animal Burrowing to Levee Risk” 

Thank you to our sponsors: Cornerstone Earth Group, San Jose State University, and Patrick Drumm of CSU East Bay!  Thanks to your support, all of our students attended for free!

January 2014: This month’s meeting featured our very own Vice Chair Morley John, PE of Kleinfelder who spoke on “Constructing a Driven Pile Foundation through a Closed Landfill, Underlain by Young Bay Mud and Undulating Franciscan Mélange Bedrock” at Restaurant Peony in Oakland.

December 2014: This month we joined GRA and the Professional Environmental Marketer’s Association (PEMA) for a Holiday Party at Scott’s in Oakland! This event was a well-attended fun mixer, featuring a fantastic premium raffle.  Proceeds from the event were donated to City Slicker Farms, a non-profit garden in West Oakland.  The event was sponsored by Cascade Drilling, Woodward Drilling, Confluence Environmental, McCampbell Analytical, Veridian Environmental, Regenesis, Blaine Tech Services, Towill, Water Rock Construction, and Eco-Rental Solutions.  Thank you!

November 2013: This month, we joined ASCE-SFGI at Scott’s in Oakland for a presentation by Donald Wells, Jim French, and René Vignos on the “Renovation and Seismic Retrofit of California Memorial Stadium (or How to Straddle the Hayward Fault with a Historic Structure)”  This presentation had a fantastic turnout, with over 100 members and students in attendance!

JamesMcCalpinSeptember 2013: This month’s meeting featured the 2013 AEG Jahns Lecturer James McCalpin of GEO-HAZ Consulting, Inc., who presented “The Mountains are Falling Apart; A Spectrum of Mass Failures from Landslides through Deep-Seated Gravitational Spreading (Sackung), to “Unfolding” of Folds”.  Mr. McCalpin’s presentation was based on his research into sackungs since 1994 which were found in Colorado ski areas.


Bill Motzer’s presentation on a beautiful night at Sinbad’s

August 2013: William (Bill) Motzer, PhD, PG, CHG of Todd Engineers spoke about “Mercury Deposits of the California Coast Range and Their Environmental Impacts” on a beautiful night at Sinbad’s.


Ken Lajoie with an old-school slide show presentation and a stick pointer!

June 2013: This month’s meeting was a joint meeting with Groundwater Resources Association and California Council of Geoscience Organizations at Spenger’s in Berkeley.  Ken Lajoie, PhD, retired geologist from the USGS presented “The Natural and Unnatural History of the San Francisco Bay”  Ten dollars from each registration went toward supporting CCGO.

May 2013: We hosted another double-header this month featuring two speakers from Fugro Consultants, at Sinbad’s.   Janet Sowers, PhD, PG spoke about “Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology in the Sacramento Valley, California – Key to Assessing Levee Foundation Conditions” and Jennifer Mendonça Wilson, PG spoke about “Developing a Geomorphic Approach to Assessing Levee Underseepage”

March 2013: We hosted a double-header meeting this month featuring a “Short Discussion on AEG’s Coordination with the California Earthquake Clearinghouse” by Anne Rosinski of CGS and “BPELSG Update and Discussion” by Ric Moore and Erik Zinn of BPELSG which featured a lively discussion regarding the future of licensing for geologists, engineering geologists, hydrogeologists, and geophysicists.

February 2013: James Lienkaemper of USGS presented “Earthquake Potential of the Green Valley and Bartlett Springs Faults” at Sinbad’s.  The Bartlett Springs and Green Valley faults of the northern California Coast Range together extend approximately 300 km from Mount Diablo northward to southern Trinity County.  Loading at a long-term slip rate of about 6 ± 3 mm/yr, they form the third largest branch of the San Andreas fault system in this region.  Fault creep is significant, at about 3 ± 2 mm/yr on the southern Green Valley fault and near Lake Pillsbury on the Bartlett Springs fault, thus aseismically relieving about half of the seismic moment. However the northernmost Green Valley and southernmost Bartlett Springs faults may be more locked (perhaps creeping only 0-2 mm/yr), but their rates are as yet poorly determined.  No large historic earthquakes have occurred on either fault, but large paleoearthquakes have recurred on the southern Green Valley fault on an average interval of about 250 yr, but rather irregularly (coefficient of variation ~0.6).  Based on historical analogs, I propose two 2-3 km steps in the northern Green Valley fault may cause such irregular occurrence, by interrupting some but not all larger ruptures.  The last such event apparently occurred circa 1600 C.E. along most of the Green Valley fault.  The current 30-year probability of a large southern Green Valley fault earthquake is estimated from its earthquake record as 20-25%. The expected size for rupture of just the southern Green Valley fault is about M6.7, but it could be much larger (≥M7.0) if its northern sections (near Lake Berryessa and northward) also rupture.  Access the new USGS mapping of Bartlett Springs fault at: and northern Green Valley fault at:

January 2013: Patrick Brady, RG of Reterro, Inc. presented “Evaporative Desorption Technology by Reterro” at Sinbad’s.  The presentation is was overview of Reterro’s patented proprietary technology and equipment to enable cost-effective, high throughput treatment of soils contaminated with a variety of toxic substances, including chlorinated solvents, volatile organic solvents, petroleum products and crude oil.

Reterro designs, builds, and deploys its own proprietary equipment for flameless, indirect-fired, batch ex-situ evaporative desorption of contaminated soils.  Reterro dispatches its mobile equipment to job sites where its team of operators excavate, decontaminate, and restore the soil.  For larger projects, a semi-permanent, high-throughput unit can be installed at the project site.

November 2012: This month, Anna Sojourner, MS, CEG of Caltrans District 4 presented “The Presidio Parkway, Phase 1 – Doyle Drive Replacement and Demolition” project to a packed house of engineers and geologists for our SFGI / AEG Joint Meeting at Scott’s Seafood in Oakland.

James Chinchiolo discusses the mechanics of holding back rockfalls and landslides.

October 2012: This month’s meeting was sponsored by Landslide Solutions, Inc!  James Chinchiolo, CEO of Landslide Solutions presented “A Presentation on Landslide and Geostabilization Technology” which included the fundamentals on soil stabilization as well as latest developments in landslide and geostabilization technology offered by his company, including some fantastic projects along California’s Coast and in the Lake Tahoe region.

September 2012: We had a great time at our Happy Hour this month at Pacific Coast Brewing Company in Oakland.  Congratulations to Sean Harvey and Craig Reid, lucky winners of fantastic bottles of wine!

July 2012: This month’s meeting was sponsored by Test America Laboratories!
Jennifer Bauer, our AEG President, spoke with the section regarding the latest AEG National news including website improvements and the drive to promote membership.  Jennifer encourages all of us to take advantage of networking and educational opportunities at the Annual Meeting this September in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Jennifer Bauer speaks to our section about AEG National News and Landslide Mapping in North Carolina

For the technical part of the program, Jennifer Bauer spoke to us about “Landslide Mapping on Slippery Slopes: Lessons Learned by the North Carolina Geological Survey” which illustrated the need for mapping landslide hazards to protect human life and property in hillside areas.

Additionally, John Williams represented the AEG Foundation and launched an on-the-spot fundraising drive to benefit the foundation, which supports geology students and professionals with scholarships, field camp sponsorship, and financial offset to attend the annual meeting, among other programs.  The donations were jumpstarted by matching donations by Bob Tepel and John Williams.  In a span of 30 minutes, our section raised over $800 for the foundation!  If you’d like to donate or apply for a scholarship, visit the AEG Foundation website.

Emma Jack explains challenging biological concerns to the project.

Bradley Erskine presents the Dam’s Excavation Plan

June 2012: Bradley Erskine, PhD of Kleinfelder and Emma Jack, PhD of Shaw Environmental presented “Building a Dam with Naturally Occurring Asbestos, Calaveras Dam Replacement Project: Challenges and Solutions”  This month’s meeting was sponsored by Woodward Drilling.
Dr. Erskine  illustrated the challenges and impacts to construction of a major public works project that involves the widespread presence of asbestos in soil and rock, requiring extensive dust control measures, construction worker respiratory protection, and decontamination procedures to protect the public.

Dr. Jack presented the challenges and solutions to biological concerns at the project site related to permitting and protection measures for species including eagles, red-legged frogs, and tiger salamanders.

Bill McCormick - May 2012

Bill McCormick reveals the secret escape routes of Alcatraz island.

May 2012: Bill McCormick, PG, CEG of Kleinfelder presented “Geology and Geohazards of Alcatraz Island (and other cool behind the scenes pictures)” 

Bill’s presentation included a discussion of the challenges to mapping the island as well as the presence of parallel joint systems and a probable fault.

April 2012: Our Annual Student Presentation Night was sponsored by Cascade Drilling, L.P. and featured:

  • Dylan Duvergé of San Francisco State University “Background Arsenic Concentration in Soil of the Urbanized San Francisco Bay Region”
  • Kelly Nicole Dustin of San José State University “Intrusive Relationships and Deformation of Mafic and Tonalitic Rocks in Part of the Seven Fingered Jack Pluton, North Cascades, Washington”
  • Mike George of University of California at Berkeley “Scour Assessment of Blocky Rock”

Excavating the Vargas Shaft

March 2012: Scott Ball and Rebecca Fusee of Hatch Mott MacDonald presented “San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Hetch Hetchy Water System Improvement Program New Irvington Tunnel – Ground Conditions”  Their presentation featured hand samples of rocks found during tunnel drilling.

Scott Burns

Scott Burns in his early days of wine making

February 2012: AEG’s 2012 Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer: Scott Burns of Portland State University presented “The Mystery of Terroir – The Relationship of Geology, Soils, and Climate to Wine” to a packed Valentine’s Day crowd.

Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore

Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore, the fourth in a series of tunnels connecting Orinda with Oakland

January 2012: Chris Risden of Caltrans presented “Caldecott Fourth Bore Project: Building Upon 80 Years of Tunnel Engineering”  Mr. Risden filled the crowd in on the latest developments in constructing the Bay Area’s newest highway tunnel using the New Austrian Tunneling Method.

December 2011: San Francisco Section members enjoyed a Happy Hour at Pedro’s Cantina in San Francisco.  Two lucky members won tasty bottles of wine in our raffle.

Glenn Borchardt

Glenn Borchardt talks about freeboard soil to a packed crowd of geologists and engineers

November 2011: We hosted the annual AEG / ASCE-SFGI Joint Meeting featuring: Glenn Borchardt, PhD of the Progressive Science Institute and Michael Dwyer Private Consultant who presented “Building on Ancient Soils Immediately Adjacent to Active Faults” with an extra feature “The Ten Assumptions of Science and the Demise of Cosmogony”